Thai financial advisory company Asset Pro Management (APM) is considering the launch of its first private equity fund in Singapore or Hong Kong next year to invest in companies in the pre-initial public offerings (pre-IPO) stages.
APM’s chairman Somphob Sakpunpanom told DEALSTREETASIA that it plans to raise around $50 million-$100 million for the first vehicle, which will focus on investing in food and beverage, energy and logistic firms in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
“This PE fund will support our financial advisory and securities business. We have set up a team to study the regulations and incentives to launch a PE fund in Singapore, but Hong Kong is also attractive in terms of tax incentives. We are yet to decide on it,” he said.
“The fund will focus on those companies which have potential to launch IPO in three to five years post investment. If we can launch the PE fund next year, it will be a good timing to list those invested companies on the stock markets by 2020 when the Asean Economic Community is fully effective.”
To provide more options to clients in Thailand and CLMV and support their demand for dual listing on ASEAN stock markets, he decided to expand his financial advisory business in Singapore.
The firm is strengthening the team by training employees to enable them to receive the licence [for financial advisory business] in Singapore by the end of this year. “This move will enhance our international image and give us a clearer picture of business flows in the region,” he said.
Apart from Thailand, APM has exposure in Laos since 2010 where it received the financial advisory licence in 2014. It has facilitated two Laotian companies – PetroTrade and Souvanny Home Centre – to list the on Laos Securities Exchange while two more will be listed this year.
“Companies have expressed their interest to make dual listings in Thailand, Laos and Singapore, and APM is at an advantageous stage because we have three licences to offer services to those companies,” he explained.
In Thailand, APM has already listed two companies, Getabec Pcl and Bangkok Sheet Metal, in the first half of this year. It plans to submit and launch seven more IPOs on the Thai bourse in the last six months, compared to a total of five IPOs in 2015.
APM aims to generate the revenue of at least 1 billion baht by 2020, five times from around 200 million baht in 2015. Revenue in ASEAN should contribute around 75 per cent of the total, up from 25 per cent at present.
It will also increase the number of its employees from 55 to 100 in the next five years, he added.